Blake was 17 when he traveled to heaven on the 1st of November in 2008. This photo is him, I believe the summer before he met Jesus. That smile is contagious!This photo is how I remember him the most -- with those glasses and those cheezzee smiles -- !
He was a big part of our lives for MANY years -- 17 to be exact. He was not my son - but my nephew but he was mine. He stayed at my house many nights -- I cleaned up after him, gave him baths, picked his ears cleaned and cut those toe nails more than he would of liked. I also 'babysat him' -- it really was not babysitting - it was just watching over a kid that was mine too.
I watched him grow, I watched him learn how to walk and then talk. I tried my best to teach him to read as he was in my first grade class, and I had to admit he needed special attention when it came to learning. I fought to have him in a regular classroom and enjoyed watching him finally flourish when he got with Mrs. K and Mrs. Hawthrone and others!
I chased him many times down the hallway at Central Elementary School cause he got spooked by something and he had such a stubborn streak. I teased the heck out of him and loved him even more. I would dance with him and make him sing silly songs. I was also the one that cleaned him up after many accidents. I sat and prayed when he got so sick many times and I was with him when he had his first seizure. I slept with him in his hospital bed on his first night in Okeechobee cause he had pneumonia.
I decorated cookies with him, I shared food with him and I watched him grow - I watched him get a zit too. I teased him incessantly at times - times to frustration but he loved it. I watched him love each and every cousin and enjoy their 'toy' time until that cousin grew past his love of toys and I cried and cried the night his mother told me that the doctors felt he would not live to be an adult. He was always with a smile on his face. He loved movies and toys and he loved people. He never judged and he always, always, always......had your back. He was indeed a special young man.
Now, he has an awesome mom too - she did ALL those things with him and more -- and God gave her the BEST son she could have and she loved like none other -- I may of been his Aunt, but everyone knew that Jeanette was his mom - he adored her.
It is so nice now to think back, God gave him the dad he always wanted in Craig and Blake still had hope in his real dad. God gave him a love for dogs and blessed him with a Dad that loved dogs as well. God gave Craig a gift too, the last 3 weeks of Blake's life were spent with Craig cause he was in a transition period and I know that God gave Blake that time as a gift too!
Blake loved to hang out and God gave him many friends and cousins that filled his last years here on earth. He loved school to begin with and then school became such a struggle and yet, in his final years - school was a blessing to him. He loved his High School buddies and clubs and classes! God kept him an innocent and pure young man and he met Jesus with a pure heart! There was never any malice or sin within that kid -- he truly was a special young boy.
I don't believe he sits or stands in heaven now and watches us. I totally believe that he has no real concept of time there with Jesus and that is so perfect and content that he has no worries.
I don't believe he needs to contact us -- but there are still ones here that need him.
I believe I will meet him again - Revelation states in 21 "Then I saw "a new heaven and a new earth," for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and there was no longer any sea. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light and the Lamb is its lamp.....
Those words, HE will wipe away every tear....that is why I don't believe Blake looks down upon me anymore - HE is with Jesus. I believe we have no real concept of HOW wonderful HEAVEN is and how there is no care and no worry there.
I have to believe that HEAVEN is THAT wonderful that we won't cry - it is hard to imagine, as humans here...we can only fathom what we see....
This past week, I mourned this young man in a new way. I always disliked that my mom would relate things to 'numbers' and yet, I guess I do the very same thing. I do relate things to time and to how God uses HIS time to perfect us....it was 5 years ago when I got a phone call on Saturday afternoon. I had just turned my phone on. I had just finished DAY #2 of my 60 mile Susan G. Komen walk. I walked by myself that year. I was back in my tent and stretching when my sister called me.
This past weekend, I walked the 60 miles and God blessed me with a 'Blake' moment on the second day of my walk. This time, I was with Rachel, my dear friend and I shared my Blake story with her as soon as she awoke on Sunday. ( read on to hear the Blake story )
This past week, on the 31st, I relived almost every memory of how Blake HATED Halloween and then on the 1st of November, I stayed busy as he went to heaven on the 1st of November ...his FAVORITE day.
It was always his favorite cause it was the DAY AFTER Halloween. He hated Halloween. I laughed with God on Friday...God hates Halloween too -- really -- it is a celebration of 'dead'. No matter how we 'sugar coat it' or make light of it -- it is a day of evil and its origins are something we all have to make peace with.
Hey ...no judgement here......My kids dressed up and we trick or treated and LOVED every moment of it -- until Blake hated it. But, Blake got over his fears of costumes and the decorations as he got older. He sort of got 'used to it'. When I thought of that -- I thought about how many of us 'get used to sin' too....
Lord, forgive me. Help me see sin for what sin is -- help me to be holy - cause YOU are holy but help me to SHOW love as YOU do ..YOU did...
I think I mourned Blake's passing again in a different way, cause I am different. I believe I hurt more...and I live more now. I have freedom to be myself. I have security in God.
Many walls have been torn down in the past two years and I can cry without having to defend myself.
I can mourn the loss of a child....not for the last time. I am pretty sure the pain of losing a child never really goes away -- it just gets different.
My sister said the BEST words to me on the 31st...she sent me a text, "I know you hurt inside too...I luv u. Thank you for being his "favorite aunt".:)"
That blessed me so.
Blake, I don't believe you can hear me this eve -- cause I do believe in heaven-- and I believe that Jesus has looked you in your eyes and has shown you how BLESSED you made others by the life you led and THAT is what brings you the MOST joy now....
But if you could hear me -- I would say----- I love you and I miss you - bunches.
And I would tell you that I miss hearing 'awe, Auntie MECHellllleee' and I would sit on the couch and watch Texas Walker Ranger with you and I would tease you about something....
- love you - Aunt Michelle
PS -- the BLESSING I got on Saturday -- was a God thing.
A few days after Blake went to heaven, I was mourning him on my reading couch, rather upset cause I did not feel my family was mourning him like they should. Both kids were in bed - not talking. My husband was in bed - not talking and I was by myself in my quiet time position. I was reading out of the LOVE DARE journal and I wrote in my journal -- "lord, If I could just know he was Ok". And then I cried myself to sleep, and awoke about 30 minutes later and I was praying and looking towards the ceiling of my living room when all of a sudden, I had a vision of Blake running with his back to me, and I pointed to the ceiling where I saw him running in the grass and I could hear him laughing and I hear it audibly. I found myself, within a moment, grabbing at the air above me - sort of like I was trying to have that image replay itself. But I realized that within that 5 seconds -- I would not hear it anymore as the laughter had gone faint like Blake had run off -- but it blessed me so.
It was not until the NEXT day when I returned to that same spot and looked at my journal that I read what I had written, "Lord, I want to know he is Ok" and God answered that -- right then and there.
God DOES that -- HE meets us RIGHT then and THERE!
God gave me another audible on the Saturday night of the walk. I thought of Blake a lot on Saturday as I walked as I was in pain with feet that wanted to quit, I was in prayer for many people as I walked with God, and I was a little ill too with a tummy ache. I spent more time walking by myself on Saturday than I did the previous day. But it was a day for me to reflect and remember and seek God as I walked. Anyway, that next morning -- I awoke from a dream -- a dream in which I knew I was dreaming but watching the dream take place. If that makes sense--but it was very clear -- I heard Blake on a recording, and I played it for another so he could hear it. Blake said, in his voice.."Auntie Michelle, I don't like these pencils you got me, I like my old ones better". That was something he would say. When I realized I was listening to Blake, I stopped myself and realized I was in a dream cause Blake was in heaven and with that -- I awoke. But I awoke - so happy -- ready to start the day and thanking God.
I believe God did that for me.
I believe God gives us little signs and tidbits of blessings -- things, feelings, situations we need to help get through the grief.
There is something missing -- we are missing something so much, we want to replace it or put something there in its place.
The only true peace that can fill that spot - is the presence of the Holy Spirit ----when we realize it is really GOD that gives us those blessings...it is really GOD that orchestrates the heavens....there is such a peace.
If you don't have that peace -- SEEK it --and I pray you will see Blake again with me.